They call it "weed," and in its most primitive, natural state, you can find scraggly little cannabis plants growing wild in some pretty dingy, inhospitable soil.
But commercial medicinal- and recreational-grade cannabis - the "good stuff" - is a different story altogether...
Every pot grower knows lots of care, technique, and, of course, technology goes into the cultivation and feeding of marijuana plants so they can flower and produce a whole host of commercially and medically useful compounds - especially the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol-9 (THC) that gets users high.
This is seriously labor- and tech-intensive stuff. It's also the specialty of the company I'm going to show you today.
It's one of the fundamental picks in my Nova-X Report's Roadmap to Marijuana Millions model portfolio.
What's more, in my view, it's absolutely essential for tapping the profit power in legal cannabis and keeping your risk low...
When It Comes to Weed, Soil Is Very "Last Year"
Pot plants must - repeat: must - be exposed to light for 12 hours a day - and kept in darkness for just as long.
Kayvan Khalatbari and Nick Hice, co-owners of Denver Relief, a medicinal-marijuana dispensary, told the Denver Post that "the best place to grow marijuana is in a room in the basement with a locked door so light doesn't inadvertently get in when the plants are 'sleeping.'"
That's fine if you're a "grow-your-own" private toker. If you spoil a "harvest" or two, you won't go broke or out of business.
Not so for the professional, large-scale cultivator. He or she has precious little room for error. As they say in the trade, the "plants have to flower."
To protect their investment, growers turn to state-of-the-art greenhouses containing high-tech devices and monitors such as hygrometers, which see to it that humidity levels never get above 50%, and CO2 tanks, which add the carbon dioxide that plants breathe in to the indoor air.
Another way that the major growers control cultivation is through "hydroponics," which is a method of growing plants in mineral- and nutrient-laced water, without soil.
According to Manifest Minds LLC, the hydroponically grown plants will make up a $24 billion market by 2018. All this barely scratches the surface of marijuana technology. Growers also need high-powered horticultural lightbulbs, custom regulated fans, valves and pumps, nutrient and mineral supplements, plus specialized "grow tents."
With growers so dependent upon technology to operate this soon-to-be $200 billion industry, it's no surprise that Silicon Valley is pouring money into it: According to Cleantech Group, venture capitalists sank $976 million into agriculture startups.
A 2015 report by MarketsandMarkets estimates that the market for "smart" greenhouses will reach $1.2 billion by 2020.
Special Report: Cannabis Is the Gold Rush of the 21st Century - 30 Stocks to Invest in Now. Details here...
This is the "growth from 'growth'" kind of landscape that firms like the one I'm going to show you finds itself in.
You see, I believe that $1.2 billion target is a tiny fraction of the potential profits to be had from this niche, so I'm setting us up for maximum upside (and, as you'll see, absolute minimum downside risk) from this trend...
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is a 36-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top tech and biotech financial analysts working today. That's because, as a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs, scientists, and high-profile players. And he brings this entire world of Silicon Valley "insiders" right to you...
- He was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon.
- He was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
- As cyber-security was becoming a focus of national security, Michael was with Dave DeWalt, the CEO of McAfee, right before Intel acquired his company for $7.8 billion.
This all means the entire world is constantly seeking Michael's insight.
In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business, he is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before the word "bailout" became a household word.
Silicon Valley defense publications vie for his analysis. He's worked for Defense Media Network and Signal Magazine, as well as The New York Times, American Enterprise, and The Wall Street Journal.
And even with decades of experience, Michael believes there has never been a moment in time quite like this.
Right now, medical breakthroughs that once took years to develop are moving at a record speed. And that means we are going to see highly lucrative biotech investment opportunities come in fast and furious.
To help you navigate the historic opportunity in biotech, Michael launched the Bio-Tech Profit Alliance.
His other publications include: Strategic Tech Investor, The Nova-X Report, Bio-Technology Profit Alliance and Nexus-9 Network.